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Player to Watch: Is Receiver Malick Meiga Ready to Break Out?

Jahan Dotson raves about redshirt freshman Malick Meiga, calling him a 'really, really unique football player.'

Penn State receiver Malick Meiga made his college football debut against Illinois, his first catch against Maryland and his best impression on the team from the very beginning.

"Malick is a really, really unique football player," said Jahan Dotson, Penn State's record-setting receiver. "He literally brings life to our receiver room, to our team."

Penn State's passing game has flowed through three primary receivers (Dotson, Parker Washington and KeAndre Lambert-Smith) this season, but Meiga is poised to make an impact in the final month. Though a preseason injury delayed his debut, Meiga has made an impact with his devotion to the craft.

At 6-4, 198 pounds, and perhaps the team's fastest receiver, the redshirt freshman brings a unique combination of physical traits and determination to the offense.

"He has a chance, the rest of the season and long-term, to be that type of home-run threat for us that can really take the top off the coverage," Penn State coach James Franklin said. "I have a lot of faith and have been very encouraged about Malick and his growth since he's been here. And he's one of the more popular guys on our team."

Meiga, one of six Penn State players from Canada, was a four-year letterwinner and two-time captain at Cegep du Vieux High School in Montreal. Born in the Ivory Coast, Meiga attended the school while his mother lived in France, according to Cegep du Vieux coach Renaldo Sagesse.

Ultimately, Meiga was named the team's MVP in 2019, positioned himself as a three-star recruit and was rated as the top prospect in Quebec, according to 247Sports.

"He's the type of kid you want to coach because he's eager to learn, and once he gets the tools, he'll put the work in," Sagesse told Penn State Athletics for a recruiting bio. "He has a great mentality and a great mindset. You wish you had an entire team of players just like him."

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Dotson has seen that dedication at Penn State. Though he was recovering from injury through the season's first half, Meiga devoted himself to offensive study and preparing as though he were starting.

In fact, Dotson said that Meiga takes the most meticulous notes of any receiver on the team.

"Going through injuries is really tough, especially when you're young, just because like you don't have that experience," Dotson said. "... Sometimes you kind of feel like you're by yourself, and you kind of get down on yourself. He was never like that."

Franklin said that Meiga and Washingon have developed a tight bond, notable because their body types and skill sets are so different. Yet they teach and challenge each other, which should boost Meiga's chances of making an impact in the season's final four games.

"We'd love for [his role] to continue to grow," Franklin said. "He's an awesome kid. He's got a lot of the things that we look for in the recruiting process."

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